“Find something that you really are passionate about, Sai.”
Sateesh’s words ring in my ears. My (former) boss had figured out before I could, that m job wasn’t making me happy. I used to work in a Venture Capital firm and the job did have all elements to motivate a professional. So his words came as a surprise to me. I did have a passion. Passion for the stories of ancient Indian past, those from the Vedas, Puranas and the itihasas. I thought that had no chances of becoming a commercial success. I was already struggling with an earlier draft of Abhaya which, at that point of time, was headed nowhere with the traditional publishers (Little did I know that I would be thanking my stars for the same!). I never spoke much about this passion of mine with my boss, but his words implied that the commercials have a way of working out when we take the plunge. Four years years down the line, I realised how true it is!
About a year after that conversation, destiny took me to London and it was not possible for me, as a short term immigrant, to find a similar job. I decided to take the plunge. I decided to believe in myself. I decided to believe more, in the story that chose me as its bard. A voice within told me not to subject my final draft to an indefinite wait loop of the traditional publishing. The voice won. I am glad it did! I Self Published my first novel, learning every bit of the process on the fly, from engaging an editor and a cover designer to learning marketing hands on.
Abhaya, my first novel, not only gave me the feeling of self fulfilment of telling the story closest to my heart, but also paved the way for a journey of learning, of resilience and of pursuing this dream of a full fledged writing career. After an intense year of learning about various aspects of the business of book, publishing and writing, I managed to complete the first draft of my second novel Avishi.
Avishi gave me a different experience. It saw me transit from an author to an authorpreneur. From planning a full fledged book launch to liaising with bloggers, reviewers and social media influencers, from diversifying my network presences to giving talks, online and offline, pursuing my passion as a profession taught me to be a true professional. To Write. To Publish. To Sell. And To Repeat.
Perhaps the universe wanted to show me that it is behind me, Avishi topped the charts in the formidable Myths, Legends and Sagas category for a day!
Discount promotions by Amazon had happened in the past but never did I witness this kind of a peak. Avishi also got to touch an over all rank of #19 in the Kindle Paid store. Quoting Steven Pressfield, I felt that my journey from being an amateur to a Pro had turned a corner.
That’s what staying true to one’s heart can do. Do you have stories of experiencing that bloom within when you followed your heart? Do share in the comments.